The UN vote on Palestinian Statehood

QAWASMI AND CHOMSKY. PHOTO: JEANINE DE ROY VAN ZUIJDEWIJN.A pivotal event in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict took place when Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian National Authority and the chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), requested full membership of the United Nations on the 23rd of September, 2011. Although the outcome of this process is still unknown, Israeli peace advocate Chassia Chomsky and her Palestinian counterpart Maysoun Qawasmi both hope that change is about to come.

Japan’s Political Discouse in the Wake of March 11

THE AFTERMATH OF THE MARCH 11 EARTHQUAKE. PHOTO: J808ARMADA. FLICKR.With its epicenter located 129km east of Sendai and 373km north-east of Tokyo, the 9.0 magnitude earthquake of March 11 was among the largest recorded in modern history. It caused not only great damage on its own, but also laid the groundwork for a tsunami that hurled itself towards the north-eastern coast of Japan’s main island Honshu, striking land with a maximum runup height of 29.6 m.The protective walls of the villages and cities along the coastline were not high enough and the waves surmounted them with ease. Houses and people were washed away and fortunate were those who made it to the mountains in time. With over 15 700 casualties, 4,647 missing, 5,314 injured and 130.927 displaced and with an estimated total economic loss of 309 billion us dollars, it was a natural disaster beyond imagining.

Quiet Diplomacy – An Adequate Method or a Shot in the Dark

MANIFESTATION IN STOCKHOLM. PHOTO: MARIA NYGREN.

There are currently three Swedish journalists being held captive abroad: Dawit Isaak in Eritra and Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye in Ethiopia. How effective is the present tactic of quiet diplomacy and what does the journalistic community think about this as a way of negotiating for the Swedish journalists’ freedom?

Two weeks in India

CHANDNI CHAWK, NEW DELHI. PHOTO: HARSH AGRAWALIn the last couple of years India has experienced an economic growth unlike many other countries. The country has become a centre of information technology, and its trade is expanding. Shortly, India will become a powerful player in the global economy as well as in world politics, with a middle class that is growing fast. In spite of all this, India still battles with problems such as corruption, and a large part of the population suffers from poverty and income inequalities. The UPF Travel Committee wanted to know more about the home country of Gandhi and Tata, so we decided that the longer trip of 2011 would go to India. Once the decision was made it soon became clear that it would be impossible to try to cover all of India in the relatively short time we had. Instead we decided upon exploring some of the largest cities; New Delhi, Jaipur and Mumbai, as well as some of the smaller cities Agra, Patna and Udaipur.

Interview with Tariq Ali

TARIQ ALI. PHOTO: SEASURFACE. FLICKR.

Last year Tariq Ali released “The Obama Syndrome – Surrender at home, War abroad”, where he looks into the changes made since Obama came into office. He argues that not much has happend since George W Bush left the White house. In September Tariq Ali came to visit the Association of Foreign Affairs in Lund to give a talk. Before the lecture Utrikesperspektiv.se’s writer, Ahmet Nuri Mutlu, met him for an interview.

Tariq Ali is one of the editors of New Left Review. He has been writing articles, essays, fiction, plays, films, and been politically active for over 40 years.

What do you claim about the policies of Obama in The Obama Syndrome?

EU Security Policy Post Utøya

JULY 25TH 2011. OUTSIDE OSLO CATHEDERAL. PHOTO: WWW.ROEDT.NOThe 22nd of July 2011, when over 70 people were killed by a single, crazed terrorist, has entered Norwegian history as the worst attack on the nation’s security since World War II. Even though the Norwegian case differs in some aspects from other cases of “traditional” terrorism–thus far it seems as though the attack was made by a single man rather than an organized group–the attacks in the Oslo city centre and on the island of Utøya once again put the topic of terrorism and national security in the news.

What consequences may rise up in the wake of these events? Will the effects of these terrorist attacks be felt throughout Europe? If so, what effects will they have on the EU?

Denmark takes a step to the left

DANISH PARLIAMENT. PHOTO: TROES DEJGAARD HANSEN:FLICKR.JPG

With the election of the first female Prime Minister in Danish history, the government sets off to a new beginning after ten years of liberal dominance. The new Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt was appointed in a close race with the now former Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and she will take over a state with several topics on its agenda. The economic growth in Denmark has not been able to follow comparable countries, like Sweden, and as a consequence the financial situation of the country became the main topic in the election campaign. The new government hopes to resolve these problems with initiatives that include raising high-income taxes and advancing public spending. 

The Indignant Greeks

The current financial situation in Europe is precarious, to say the least. Austerity measures pursued by different European governments have not been well received by the
young, which Greece is a good example of. Rather, the insecurity caused by high unemployment rates and reduction of wages has created a new wave of public discontent, aimed at government policies.

In Spain, discontented young people formed the Indignados movement, also known as the “Real Democracy Now” movement. The Spanish Indignados have been protesting against the harsh budget cuts implemented by the government and the general public insecurity stemming from the financial and economic crisis, while at the same time demanding a new, more direct and more transparent type of democracy. A democracy based on people assembling. The Indignados movement quickly caught on, with young people camping out in the squares of all the major cities for days, as a peaceful protest. 

Occupation Movement Grows Bigger


OCCUPY WALL STREET CAMP ON OCTOBER 29.PHOTO: DAVID SHANKBONE. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

More than two months have passed since activists started demonstrating against social and economic inequalities in Zucotti Park, Wall Street, New York.

Now the so called Occupy Wall Street movement has grown and become known globally. Critics say that the movement must have a concrete agenda in order to be taken seriously. Yet the occupiers do not show any signs of leaving their tents.